TO BELT AND BACK: Which Former Champion Will Take Their Title Back Next?

TO BELT AND BACK: Which Former Champion Will Take Their Title Back Next?

Back in 2018, I made a decision to expand my focus to include the Movie Trivia Schmoedown – a combination of movie trivia and WWE entertainment. As the brand grew, my writing on here came to an end in November 2018 as I was given the chance to write for their new website, TriviaSD.com along with a number of other Schmoedown bloggers. Recently it was announced that as the crew’s focus is needed elsewhere, it was announced that the site will be coming to an end. This means that the Schmoedown will be making a return to this site!

First of all, I want to give a big thank yous:

  • To Schmoedown creator and Chairman of the league Kristian Harloff and TriviaSD.com Managing Editor William Bibbiani for giving me the chance to write for the site
  • To the cast and crew, who continue to create an amazing product that is just going from strength to strength
  • To the fans, who have helped to create such an amazing community

Over the space of a couple of weeks, I am posting my articles from the site onto here. As some of these are almost a year old, some of them are somewhat outdated and may have proved to be completely off the mark.

Posted to TriviaSD.com 15/7/2019


The Shirewolves made history once again at Collision III when they became the first team to reclaim the Teams title. It’s is a feat that had accomplished before: the Patriots lost their rematch against Above The Line, while Top 10 failed to get revenge on the Patriots twice, including the infamous “Jane Fonda” match.

As of now, nobody has ever regained their belt in the Innergeekdom Division, and in fact Mike Kalinowski will be the first former Champion in the division to even challenge for the belt again, as both Mara Knopic and Jason Inman stepped away from competition following their title losses, and Burnett and Navarro have not yet been able to get back to the top of the rankings.

The only division that has really seen any repetition of champions has been the Singles Division. Dan Murrell is currently enjoying his 3rd title reign, while both John Rocha and Mark Reilly have won the belt on 2 separate occasions.

Seeing the Shirewolves start their second reign as team Champions got me thinking: who (if anyone) will be able to regain their title by the end of the season? Having thought about it, I’ve selected the five players I think are most likely. (For all you fans of the Star Wars Division, Ken Napzok and Sam Witwer would have definitely been in the discussion if they were playing, but a recent comment from Kristian suggested that the next #1 Contender Match will likely involve people who competed at Celebration and that the winner would be in the last Title Match that the division holds this year.)

Mike Kalinowski

As mentioned, Kalinowski is the first former Innergeekdom Champion to earn a second shot at the belt, having just defeated Kevin Smets at Collision. He is without a doubt one of the top three current Innergeekdom competitors and even though he has lost to Rachel both times they faced off in the Division (and also once outside the Division, when she KO’d him in a Triple Threat #1 Contender Match), he has more than enough knowledge to go the distance again, just like when he lost the belt to Cushing in Sudden Death. The match is set to be held live in San Diego during Comic-Con, which I think gives “The Killer” a slight advantage, as live events seem to bring the best out of him. Either way, it could be a contender for Match of the Year.

John Rocha

“The Outlaw” is a former Teams Champion and two-time former Singles Champion, but it is in the Teams division where I think he’s more likely to regain a title this year. While he may no longer be part of Top 10, his new partnership with Dan Murrell has created a formidable team. At 3-1, the Founding Fathers aren’t far off from a shot at the title and they certainly have the pedigree to take down the Shirewolves. Even if they find their run halted by a loss, they could take advantage of Murrell’s Free 4 All victory to get themselves an immediate title shot at any time.

William Bibbiani

“The Beast” claimed the vacant Singles Title after Samm Levine walked away from Competition but lost it to John Rocha on his first defence. One of the best in the game in terms of overall knowledge, he can never be ruled out of a match and even won a Triple Threat match earlier this year against Ethan Erwin and John Rocha. Bibbs hasn’t played in the Singles Division since his loss to Dan Murrell at the start of May, but as the Free 4 All MVP, he has the chance to cash in a #1 Contender Match at any time, which means he’s only ever two wins away from reclaiming the belt.

Ethan Erwin

If we’re taking about incredible knowledge, then we need to mention Ethan Erwin, who Kristian Harloff recently stated on Collider Live was unable to feature in the Free 4 All but played along and would have made it to the end, knocking Bibbiani out earlier in the event. Erwin is the only competitor to date to win the Singles Title in his rookie year and though he lost on his first defence, Dan Murrell needed to play a 100% accurate game to earn the victory. Erwin’s partnership with Jeannine may also lead tohim gaining knowledge in areas that he would have previously considered weaknesses, making him even more dangerous. He may not have any fast-track to a title, but don’t bet against him going on a strong tournament run to earn a title shot at Spectacular.

Dan Murrell

The most hypothetical one on the list, since in order to reclaim the belt Murrell would first have to lose it. But imagine for one moment that Murrell has a bad day at the office and loses to Paul Oyama, he still has every chance of becoming a 4-time Singles Champion by the end of the season. First of all, he would have the option of cashing in his Free 4 All victory to earn an immediate title shot, and even if he has to go through the tournament to earn another shot, you should never bet against the GOAT. Murrell has a wide and deep knowledge and has worked on his strategy since coming back from his hiatus, while having some of the best competitors in the game in his faction means that he’ll have plenty of support and advice coming his way if he needs it.

Do you think I missed anyone? Let me know in the comments who you think has the best chance of regaining their title.

WORLD’S GREATEST DAN: “Dangerous” Dan Murrell’s Top 10 Schmoedown Moments!

WORLD’S GREATEST DAN: “Dangerous” Dan Murrell’s Top 10 Schmoedown Moments!

Back in 2018, I made a decision to expand my focus to include the Movie Trivia Schmoedown – a combination of movie trivia and WWE entertainment. As the brand grew, my writing on here came to an end in November 2018 as I was given the chance to write for their new website, TriviaSD.com along with a number of other Schmoedown bloggers. Recently it was announced that as the crew’s focus is needed elsewhere, it was announced that the site will be coming to an end. This means that the Schmoedown will be making a return to this site!

First of all, I want to give a big thank yous:

  • To Schmoedown creator and Chairman of the league Kristian Harloff and TriviaSD.com Managing Editor William Bibbiani for giving me the chance to write for the site
  • To the cast and crew, who continue to create an amazing product that is just going from strength to strength
  • To the fans, who have helped to create such an amazing community

Over the space of a couple of weeks, I am posting my articles from the site onto here. As some of these are almost a year old, some of them are somewhat outdated and may have proved to be completely off the mark.

Posted to TriviaSD.com 1/5/2019


When you talk about the Schmoedown, it doesn’t take long for conversation to turn to “Dangerous” Dan Murrell. The reigning Singles Champion and Free 4 All Champion is the only person to have held the Singles Title on three separate occasions and his partnership with “The Outlaw” John Rocha is more than capable of challenging for the Teams title too.

But with six victories in title matches and plenty of other iconic events in his history, the question then becomes “What is the best Dan Murrell moment?” I’ve looked back through his time in the league to present my top ten.!

What would make your list?

10. Dan’s First Faction

Murrell had clearly been doing well enough on his own during Season 3 as he went 5-0 in the Singles Division, with 3 victories in title matches and 3 TKOs in that spell.

By this point, Murrell and Rocha were clear rivals and during his interview after defending his title at Spectacular against Mark Ellis, Murrell was firing some shots at his next opponent, who had lost the Teams Title to The Patriots earlier in the day.

His interview was soon interrupted by the arrival of the Lion’s Den, who invited him to join their faction with a number of promises, including free comic books from Marc Andreyko. With the strength of the Four Horsemen at the time, uniting the Singles and Teams Belts in one faction set up a huge rivalry between the two factions heading into Season 4.

9. Hitting a Promo

With the Schmoedown’s move to Collider and the changes that entailed, the league needed to entice people in. What better way to do in than with the incredible promos from Murrell and John Campea? With lines like “Champions do their talk in the ring” and “Nobody’s ever beat me when there’s a title on the line” as well as comparing the angry Canadian’s rants to a Pomeranian yapping, Murrell brought a quiet confidence to counter Campea’s bluster and set us up for a great season opener.

8. “It’s a New Murrell Order and I’m a Free Agent, Baby”

Murrell’s time with the Lion’s Den lasted a whole one match. In his interview following his title loss to John Rocha, he announced that he was leaving the Lion’s Den. As Murrell pointed out, he received no support from his stable mates and none of them joined him in his promo, entrance or post-match interview. And with a proclamation of “You just lost your alpha” his time in the Lion’s Den came to an end.

7. The Aftermath

It’s never nice to lose a game on a controversial moment, but that is what happened with the Founding Fathers’ Anarchy loss to KOrruption. In an emotional post-match interview, Murrell was so gracious in his loss and talked about how low a loss can make you feel and showed how much the Schmoedown meant to him. Talking about how Rocha had pulled him back following his loss to Andrew Ghai, Murrell clearly did the same in this moment with Rocha and pulled him back to prepare for his upcoming title match, while also reducing Jenn Sterger to tears. If I’m being honest, watching it back for this list got me pretty emotional too!

6. Free 4 All

In a recent article, I named XX5XX as my favourite moment from the first two Free 4 Alls. While a fantastic moment in itself, it also brought to an end a great performance from Dan Murrell. Dan Murrell’s 12 rounds lasted was the most of anyone in that event (1 more than John Humphrey) and correctly answered 47/60 questions over that spell (nobody else managed more than 28 points at the event). If his 5-1 Singles record was not already hint enough, this performance proved that the name “Dangerous” was an apt choice.

5. Dan’s First Title

TKO victories over John Campea and Scott Mantz earned Murrell a shot at Mark Reilly’s Singles Title. “Yodi” was 5-0 at this point, with a title victory over Josh Macuga and a successful defence against JTE to his name, but Murrell gave him the first loss of his Singles career with an 18-15 victory. I think the fact that Murrell’s first ever title victory shows just how great his career has been since then.

4. Free 4 All Victory

Having missed the second Free 4 All due to a personal tragedy, Murrell made his glorious return to the event in 2019. Coming out at number 31, he lasted 13 rounds and scored 42 points (only William Bibbiani could beat those numbers) to defeat MVP William Bibbiani and JTE in the second round of Sudden Death and win the event. It was a great performance and winning the event combined with being a Triple-Champion probably confirmed him as the GOAT to many fans.

3. The Five Horsemen

Andrew Ghai’s antics and his claims of beating Dan Murrell were always going to end up drawing the GOAT back to the league, and it happened at the second Los Angeles live event. With Ghai onstage making fun of a caricature of Murrell (Bateman dressed up as him and acted stupid), the music began to play and the lights went out, before turning back on to reveal four hooded figures. The new Four Horsemen revealed themselves one by one: Knost, Rocha, Inman, Reilly.

Everything went dark again and when the lights returned, a fifth figure had appeared onstage, who was revealed to be Murrell. The GOAT had put aside his rivalry with The Outlaw and they had joined together in a faction of current and former champions to take control of the lead. Murrell’s first action was to go over to Ghai and immediately challenge him to a match at Collision… I’ve never seen Ghai so scared, he was speechless!

The reveal was amazing and left me with goosebumps, and it was great to see Murrell return to the league and team up with his two greatest rivals from his original run in the league.

2. Two in a Row

After Mark Reilly won the Singles Title back from John Rocha, the next title match was arranged for the inaugural Collision: a Triple Threat between Reilly, Rocha and Murrell. In an amazing match, Murrell came away as the new champion, becoming the second two-time Champion.

He wasn’t given much time to celebrate though, as his post-match interview was interrupted by Samm Levine cashing in his Free 4 All victory and challenging Murrell for the title in the hopes that Murrell would be tired.

That logic didn’t work though, as he hit a perfect Round 1 (minus the bonus) on the way to a 26-23 victory.

Winning one match is good, winning two in a day is impressive, and winning two matches one right after another is GOAT material.

1. The Third Title

2018 was an up and down year for Murrell following his return to competition, but a win over Clarke Wolfe at Spectacular confirmed his as the next title contender. That contest would be against Ethan Erwin, live in New York. Erwin had been living up to his “Big Time” moniker and it was going to take something special to beat him, which is exactly what Dan Murrell gave us. A 100% accuracy match gave him a 25-23 victory over Erwin, and he was able to become the first 3-time Singles Champion and lift the belt to chants of “You deserve it” from the crowd.

DECENT PROPOSALS: Six Schmoedown Stipulation Matches We Want Next!

DECENT PROPOSALS: Six Schmoedown Stipulation Matches We Want Next!

Back in 2018, I made a decision to expand my focus to include the Movie Trivia Schmoedown – a combination of movie trivia and WWE entertainment. As the brand grew, my writing on here came to an end in November 2018 as I was given the chance to write for their new website, TriviaSD.com along with a number of other Schmoedown bloggers. Recently it was announced that as the crew’s focus is needed elsewhere, it was announced that the site will be coming to an end. This means that the Schmoedown will be making a return to this site!

First of all, I want to give a big thank yous:

  • To Schmoedown creator and Chairman of the league Kristian Harloff and TriviaSD.com Managing Editor William Bibbiani for giving me the chance to write for the site
  • To the cast and crew, who continue to create an amazing product that is just going from strength to strength
  • To the fans, who have helped to create such an amazing community

Over the space of a couple of weeks, I am posting my articles from the site onto here. As some of these are almost a year old, some of them are somewhat outdated and may have proved to be completely off the mark.

Posted to TriviaSD.com 12/4/2019


With rankings on the line and only a couple of wins required to earn a #1 Contender Match, there is plenty of excitement surrounding every Schmoedown match already. But do you know what can make a match even more exciting?

Stipulations! An agreement between two competitors that makes the result of a match even more important. Stipulations have been used many times already in the Schmoedown, from the rematch between Team Action and Top 10 that would have forced Top 10 to break up for a year, to Bateman vs. Mantz for the right to put their face on Movie Release Dates slice.

Most recently, this week treated us to a match between JTE and Jonathan Harris. A JTE win would see the return of the Evil Geniuses with Jonathan Harris their manager, a Harris win would see the Harris Brothers continue and Jonathan picking JTE’s new partner.

And this got me thinking: what other possible stipulation matches could we see in the Schmoedown?

Battle for Boston

Sometimes you don’t know how much you’ve missed something until you see/hear it again. I’m sure I wasn’t the only person who realised that was the case as “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” started to play at the Free 4 All to announce the return of JTE. With the end of the Patriots and JTE’s injury, this entrance music has been sorely missing since Collision and it was great to hear it again.

However, our chances have been limited. One of JTE’s first acts back in the league was to tell his former partner that this was his music and only he could use it. Will Sneider be OK with that or will he want the song back?

Sneider could set up a match with JTE and – as if these two former friends going against each other isn’t exciting enough – challenge him to put “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” on the line. A win for “Little Evil” lets him keep the song for his entrance music, a win for Sneider would see JTE have to stop using the song and allow “The Insneider” permanent rights to the song.

Space in the Stable

One of the ongoing stories of Season 6 has been the rebuilding of the Horsemen, now that Matt Knost has retired and Jason Inman took a leave of absence. With the success of his new team Who’s The Boss, Reilly has suggested to Rocha that Ben Bateman come in as one of the new Horsemen, an idea that Dan Murrell seemed amenable to but Rocha – who has history with “The Boss” – was not so happy about.

But what if Ben’s potential future came down to a 1v1 match between Reilly and Rocha? A win for Reilly sees his partner become a Horsemen, a win for the Outlaw will see them move on from Ben as an option and look elsewhere for new recruits.

A Grand (?) Entrance

William “The Beast” Bibbiani and Witney “The Beauty” Seibold are not just a very knowledgeable team, they are also one of the teams who will go all-out on their entrances. We all love them and look forward to what they’ll do next. But you know who may not feel the same? The poor editors who have an increased workload.

So far, the crew have done a great job of allowing the pair to run wild with their ideas, but former Commissioner Thadd Williams may decide that enough is enough and, along with his teammate Aaron Wilhelm, take on Critically Acclaimed in a Teams match with a twist: a win for Deep Cuts would see Bibbiani and Seibold have to tone down their entrances to just walking out in cosplay to different music for a specified amount of time.

The Battle of Champions

Who wouldn’t want to see a match between “Dangerous” Dan Murrell and Rachel “The Crusher” Cushing?! The Singles Champion and Innergeekdom Champion have yet to face each other in competition and there is a good chance that if they ever do, it could be one of the greatest matches ever.

While Murrell does have a title shot to use whenever he wants, following his Free 4 All victory, he has been quick to say that he does not see himself entering the Innergeekdom anytime soon. Likewise, Cushing has taken a similar stance towards competing in the Singles Division while she is Teams and Innergeekdom Champion. There is one stipulation that could make a match between the pair be too good for either to resist however: Winner Takes All!

Murrell puts the Singles belt on the line and Cushing the Innergeekdom belt in a 5-round singles match that includes your usual Singles categories but also a couple of categories you would usually only find in Innergeekdom. While Cushing would keep the Teams belt regardless of the result, the winner would become Singles and Innergeekdom Champion.

School’s Out?

We’ve already seen “The Professor” Lon Harris trying (and failing) to teach Eliot Dewberry the finer side of cinema, a lesson from which Josh Macuga managed to successfully play truant. Perhaps it’s time for Professor Harris to try a new tactic.

The Professor could challenge Macuga to a Singles match with a twist: a win for Harris would see the Wildberries (including manager Ricky Hayberg) have to attend a mandatory series of classes led by the Professor and his esteemed colleague Jonathan Harris. A win for Macuga would see the Harris Brothers have to join the Wildberries for a wild party. Who else wants to see the Professor doing a keg stand?

What’s in a Name?

Tim “The Tank” Franco made his Schmoedown debut with a TKO victory over Matt Atchity in Season 4 but has unfortunately not competed since. Now, his nickname of “The Tank” appears at risk: fans of the Schmoedown Rundown have heard Frank Janisch trying to make that name his own.

Could this be what it takes to draw Tim Franco back into competition, with Janisch making his competitive debut? The prize: the rights to the nickname “The Tank”. Will Frank Janisch be able to get rid of that “Jenga” nickname? For a bonus, let’s get Frank’s fellow Rundown host Brad Gilmore on the desk and see who he cheers for.

What other stipulation matches would you love to see? Sound off in the comments!

LET’S GET DANGEROUS: The Schmoedown History of Dan Murrell!

LET’S GET DANGEROUS: The Schmoedown History of Dan Murrell!

Back in 2018, I made a decision to expand my focus to include the Movie Trivia Schmoedown – a combination of movie trivia and WWE entertainment. As the brand grew, my writing on here came to an end in November 2018 as I was given the chance to write for their new website, TriviaSD.com along with a number of other Schmoedown bloggers. Recently it was announced that as the crew’s focus is needed elsewhere, it was announced that the site will be coming to an end. This means that the Schmoedown will be making a return to this site!

First of all, I want to give a big thank yous:

  • To Schmoedown creator and Chairman of the league Kristian Harloff and TriviaSD.com Managing Editor William Bibbiani for giving me the chance to write for the site
  • To the cast and crew, who continue to create an amazing product that is just going from strength to strength
  • To the fans, who have helped to create such an amazing community

Over the space of a couple of weeks, I am posting my articles from the site onto here. As some of these are almost a year old, some of them are somewhat outdated and may have proved to be completely off the mark.

Posted to TriviaSD.com 6/2/2019


Season 6 kicked off with an event that will go down in Schmoedown history: the first live event in New York, the first Schmoedown event to be live streamed… and Dan Murrell becoming the first competitor to win the Singles Title for a 3rd time!

During his time in the Schmoedown, “Dangerous” Dan Murrell has been a fan favourite. I started watching the Schmoedown myself just after Reilly v Rocha III; I saw so many fans online hyping up Dan Murrell and when I finally got to see him compete in a match at Collider Collision, it was clear that the hype was well deserved.

So in honour of the Champion’s victory, let’s take a chance to go back down memory lane and look at Murrell’s Schmoedown career to date!

Rising Star

Dan Murrell’s entry to the Schmoedown came in Season 2 as part of the first ever team tournament. Already the Screen Junkies Movie Fights Champion, Murrell paired up with Ultimate Schmoedown Singles Champion Mark “Yodi” Reilly to form the aptly named Team Champs. Their first round opponents were the B-Team (Cody Hall, Cobbster and Ace Cabrera) who were unable to pull out a victory despite having an extra man. Team Champs were beaten in the quarterfinals by Top 10, but the 18-19 final score was the closest losing margin in the tournament.

Murrell made his Schmoedown return and his Singles debut in the Season 3 opener against John Campea. He TKO’d Campea with a 6-13 score and followed this up with a 16-11 TKO victory over Scott Mantz to set up a title match against his former teammate.

Reilly came into this match with a 5-0 record, but Murrell handed him his first ever loss in Singles with a 15-18 victory to win in his first ever Championship Match. He soon had to defend his title against Clarke Wolfe – who went on to be crowned 2016 Rookie of the Year – where in a dominant performance he earned his 3rd TKO victory in 4 matches, with a score of 11-4.

Mark Ellis worked his way through the field in the 2016 Ultimate Schmoedown tournament to challenge Murrell for the belt at Schmoedown Spectacular, but once again Murrell emerged with the victory, 23-20. This match is notable for being Murrell’s first perfect Round 1, though it must be remembered that this was in the old format where competitors were only asked 6 questions and each competitor received different questions.

The Three Champions

Up until this point, Murrell had been a lone wolf or accompanied by some of his Screen Junkies colleagues, but following victory over Mark Ellis he accepted an invitation to join the Lion’s Den, furthering a rivalry with John Rocha, who was targeting all the belts and all the records. Rocha’s win over Reilly at Spectacular earned him a Championship match against Murrell and the Champ finally received his first loss in Singles, by a margin of 20-21. After this match, Murrell chose to leave the Lion’s Den as he felt he was not getting the support he wanted from them. He chose instead to fly solo.

Murrell’s next Schmoedown outing was at the 2017 Free 4 All. Coming in at number 12 (out of 35), Murrell’s 11 rounds was the longest anyone lasted that year, and his total points (47) was 19 more than his closest competitors, John Rocha and John Humphrey. However, Murrell was unable to get the victory here: he was eliminated along with Rocha, William Bibbiani and Drew McWeeny in one of the greatest moments of Schmoedown history: XX5XX.

After Mark Reilly won the belt back from Rocha, the three of them competed at Collider Collision in a Triple Threat match for the title. Reilly was the first to be eliminated in Round 5 and Murrell won the belt back on the final question, with a final score of 13-22-26. He wasn’t given long to savour his victory though, as his interview was interrupted by Samm Levine appearing at the table and cashing in his Free 4 All victory for a shot at Murrell. Samm’s logic was that Murrell would be tired, but he instead earned his first Perfect Round 1 in the 8-question format (though he missed the bonus) on the way to a 26-23 victory to retain the belt.

Stepping Away

By this point, the Commissioner Kristian Harloff was on his revenge tour and a victory over Jeff Sneider at Collision set him up for a September showdown with Murrell. In a match where points were hard to come by, Harloff emerged the victor to become the 3rd competitor to hold the Singles Title. Following the match, Murrell shocked the world by announcing his retirement from the Schmoedown, stating that with all the new blood coming into the league it was time someone else had a shot at the title, but vowing that he would return at some point.

Time went on, Samm Levine went on a run through both the Singles and Teams Ultimate Schmoedowns, winning the Singles belt but losing the Team Championship to the Patriots, with his partner Drew WcWeeny. Samm defended his title against Rachel Cushing and Above the Line beat Modok to earn another shot at the Teams Title. As this incredible run continued, debates began amongst the fans as to whether the title of Greatest Of All Time had to move from Murrell to Levine… yet still we heard nothing from Dan.

The Return

Before we knew it, the 2018 Free 4 All was here. 48 competitors all competing for a title shot of their choice. RB3 was eliminated and the 47th competitor was about to be announced. The entrance music began and it was unmistakably the Jaws theme that Murrell always came out to. Kristian began his announcement at the desk: “Representing Screen Junkies… Ladies and gentlemen… Dangerous Dan Murrell!” The world was buzzing with excitement at the GOAT’s return, only for Andrew Ghai to emerge, giving the middle finger salute to anyone and everyone, announcing that he’d killed Murrell and buried him.

Over the next few weeks, he would go around proclaiming himself the Ghai that beat the GOAT, prancing around the Collider studios as if he owned the place. At the end of the second live event at the El Portal Theatre, Andrew Ghai came back on stage and announced to the crowd that he could get Dan Murrell there tonight. This “Dan Murrell” turned out to be none other than his Team Action teammate Ben Bateman in costume, and the pair of them mocked him publicly. The bear had been prodded… or perhaps I should say the Horse…

The lights went out and when they came back up, four hooded figures were on the stage. The revealed themselves one by one: Knost, Rocha, Inman, Reilly, all holding up the four-fingered sign of the Four Horsemen. Then their salute changed, from four fingers to five, the lights went down again and a fifth hooded figure appeared, and was revealed, and it was none other than Dan Murrell. The Five Horsemen had formed, with the original 3 Singles Champions all in one stable. Murrell told Ghai right then and there that he’d had enough and pressured him into a match at Collision.

Mixed Results

Of course, things didn’t go as planned when that match came around. Kal the Schmoe Dog’s theft meant that Reilly was not there to support his stablemate and when he got to the table, Murrell realised just how much the game had moved forward while he was away. A combination of ring-rust, being put off by Ghai’s antics and poor luck when spinning the Wheel saw Ghai shock the world. Andrew Ghai hand Dan Murrell his first ever TKO defeat: 14-16!

Murrell’s next match came at Season 5’s final live event as he and new teammate John Rocha took on Wait, I Know This! in the opening match of the Ultimate Schmoedown Anarchy tournament. With two former champions teaming up, the Founding Fathers made short work of Stacy Howard and Winston Marshall with a 20-17 TKO victory.

The Founding Fathers were many people’s favourites to win the tournament, but they had a much tougher test in the second round, against KOrruption. The teams could not be separated over 3 rounds and a 30-30 score saw them go to Sudden Death. On the first question, Murrell was unable to get his answer down in time and following the “Jane Fonda Rule” did not get the point, while Rocha and Kalinowski both got the correct answer of “David O. Russell” and Chance Ellison was controversially given the point for the phonetically correct “David O’Russell,” knocking Murrell and Rocha out.

Watching an emotional post-match interview, I’m sure I wasn’t the only person worrying that Murrell would be unable to get back to the heights of his first spell in the league, but he was ready to prove me wrong.

Murrell was one of six players to be given an automatic entry into the 2018 Ultimate Schmoedown Singles tournament, while Chance Ellison won a spot with the magic number and Ben Bateman earned his spot by running the gauntlet. Murrell’s first round match was against Stacy Howard and he came away with the 18-7 KO victory. This was a notable match for Murrell as not only was this the first time he managed a perfect Round 1 and hit the bonus point, it was also the first time that he finished with 100% accuracy, a feat that only 3 other competitors (Mark Ellis in Season 1, William Bibbiani on his debut and Rachel Cushing in Innergeekdom) have achieved.

Next up though was rookie sensation Ethan Erwin in the semifinal and the league’s new “Big Time” competitor proved too much for Murrell, who had a bad day with just 60% accuracy and earning 46% of the points available to him, on the way to a 12-13 TKO defeat.

The Road to New York

Any other year and that would have meant his season was over, but it had been announced that this year’s losing semi-finalists would compete in a third-place playoff, the winner of which would face the losing finalist in a Number 1 Contender match at Spectacular III. Murrell faced Marc Andreyko in the playoff and blew the Android away for a 15-14 TKO victory, managing to hit a perfect Round 1 and the bonus question for the second time in his career.

This result left him facing Clarke Wolfe at Spectacular III for the chance to face either Ethan Erwin or stablemate John Rocha at the Season 6 opener in New York. This match was much closer than when they faced previously, but Clarke again succumbed to a 12-15 TKO defeat, likely fatigued from having already defended the Teams Title earlier in the event. In the conclusion to the season, Ethan Erwin completed his run through the Singles Division with a victory over John Rocha to become the first rookie to win the Singles Title, setting up a rematch with Murrell in New York.

What felt like years of no new Schmoedown matches passed, but eventually the big day came. Dan Murrell came to New York without any of his fellow Horsemen, but with a clear determination to win the title back. In front of a raucous crowd, Murrell managed to hit a perfect Round 1 with the bonus question for the third time, to open up a 2 point lead. He went 4/4 in Round 2, checking down once to multiple choice, while 8 points from Erwin narrowed his lead to 1 point, which disappeared as both answered correctly in Round 3, but Murrell only bet 2 points to Erwin’s 3. Erwin took an early lead in Round 4, beating Murrell to the buzzer on the first 2 questions for 2 points. Murrell pulled it back with the next 2, but Erwin got the final question to take a 1 point lead into Round 5. Both competitors hit their 2-pointer, then Murrell hit his 3-pointer to send things back to Erwin. The Champion missed on both his 3- and 5-pointers, giving Murrell a 23-25 victory while the crowd went wild and began a chant of “You deserve it!”

The Future of “Dangerous” Dan Murrell

With this historic third Singles title and second match with 100% accuracy (the only competitor to manage this more than once), the debate begins again as to who the GOAT really is: Dan Murrell or Samm Levine. I think that it is relatively safe to call Murrell the GOAT of the Singles Division considering the incredible accuracy in his victories: five perfect Round 1s and two 100% accuracy games is unheard of.

As for the Teams Division, his impact here has been limited so far, but expect having a belt in the faction to spur the Founding Fathers on to greater heights this season. By the end of Season Six we could see “Dangerous” Dan Murrell added to the list of competitors to hold belts in multiple divisions, something currently only Levine, Rocha and Harloff can boast.

Or could he even follow Levine into becoming the second double-champion…?